• Heading to Edinburgh’s Fringe later this summer? Perhaps to catch up with Kev Sutherland and the Falsetto Sock Company, who are sure to be there? Then you might also be interested in a new show from Canadian actor Charles Ross, who first made an impact on the Edinburgh Fringe when his debut show, One Man Star Wars Trilogy, which was a surprise sell-out hit of the 2006 event. He’s back this year with his equally hilarious follow-up One Man Lord Of The Rings in which he recreates the enchanting world of Middle-Earth, armed with nothing more than a pair of elbow pads and his outrageous imagination, at the E4 Udderbelly, E4 Udderbelly’s Pasture, from 6-16th August 2009. More info: www.onemanlotr.com (Photo: Lisa Hebden)
• With the nominations collected, the ballets are about to open for the 2008 Eagle Awards, the comics industry’s longest-running awards. Co-founded in 1976 by Mike Conroy, editor of Comics International and author of new Ilex Press release War Comics: A Graphic History (see news story), the awards offer UK comics fans a unique opportunity to nominate their own choices and vote for their pick of bunch in each category. The award categories cover comics and creators, as well as comics-related titles. Vote for nominees in the Eagles Awards here
• Via numerous upset comic creators, worrying news appeared in The Sun reporting that one-time 2000AD artist Ron Smith, 80, was in court over alledged child abuse. We can now report that at 3.00pm today the jury unanimously found him not guilty. Guildford Crown Court confirmed the details
• To quote blogger Giles Poitras, “Oh god it was only a matter of time. And who else but the wonderful Helen McCarthy could do a book called Manga Cross-Stitch.” Who else indeed! Helen McCarthy, author of ILEX’s 500 Essential Anime Movies and many titles on Japanese manga and anime, is the UK’s leading expert in this area, and now she has turned her hand to teaching how to incorporate the skills of needlecraft with this popular Japanese graphic art form. Manga Cross-Stitch, available from ILEX, will be out soon, but in the meantime the Japan Foundation is presenting a lecture and workshop held by Helen McCarthy, on Wednesday 1 July, in London. Places are limited so get your tickets quick, as there will a chance to stitch your own manga design on the day.
• (via Bear Alley): A number of British creators have made the shortlist for the British Fantasy Awards 2009, amongst them Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean (best novel (and best non-fiction for his blog) and best artist respectively) and numerous others in the Best Comic/Graphic Novel section.
• This sounds fun: CBBC has commissioned a new science series, Space Hoppers, an interplanetary adventure series featuring Professor Brian Cox. Using animation and CGI and experiments, the series investigate what one might need to go on vacation in outer space and the extreme environments in the Solar System. Set to launch in 2010, which happens also to be the BBC’s Year of Science, the seven episode series is produced in conjunction with BBC Science’s series Seven Wonders Of The Solar System, also hosted by Cox.
• Tim Pilcher, author of Erotic Comics: A Graphic History, has been talking to Salacious Scribbles about the relationships between erotica, porn and the comics genre; how Volume 2 was stopped by Australian customs; and a whole lot more with Louise Bak, poet and radio show co-host, for men’s magazine Toro. In Tim’s own words: “Good erotic comics have to abide by the same basic rules that any comic book genre has to. That is, good story pacing, believable/ empathetic characters, an involving storyline and quality design and page layout.” Erotic Comics is a guide though the talent and artwork of this much maligned art form. Read the interview here
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.